A 102-year-old Holocaust survivor thought his brother was killed by the Nazis, but, thanks to an Israeli organisation, he just met the nephew he didn’t know existed. Eliahu Pietruszka fled Poland aged 24 when World War II broke out, leaving behind his family, including his younger brother Volf behind.
Despite escaping from the Nazi death camp where the rest of his family perished, Volf was sent to a Siberian work camp, where Eliahu assumed his story ended. After settling in Israel, the centenarian learned just days ago that his brother, now deceased, made it through the war and settled in rural Russia.
Eliahu’s grandson found a testimony in records at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, that Volf had filled out in 2005 for his older brother, whom he too thought had died. Alexandre, Volf’s only child, still lived in the same Russian village his father had and a meeting with his uncle was organised.
Crying and cupping his nephew’s face Eliahu remarked that Alexandre was a “copy” of his father. “I have waited for 70 years to see you. 70 years,” the centenarian told his nephew. He said the meeting was a fitting end to a long, eventful life.